Former Nintendo employee on the struggle of creating Metroid Prime's logo, and the crunch on Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Long hours, tough decisions, and major stress
YouTuber KIMI TALKZ just released a massive interview with Jim Wornell, a graphic designer who worked on a number of different Nintendo projects. The entire interview is worth a listen, but there’s a couple points of interest in particular that we want to point out.
At one point in the discussion, Wornell talked about his work on Metroid Prime. Wornell handled the logo for Metroid Prime, and it was no easy task. According to Wornell, the logo went through 53 different iterations before the final design was landed on. You can see Wornell’s comments on the struggle to find the right logo below.
“Oh no no no, there were times where I wanted to blow my brains out. To be fair, 53 versions, yes there were 53 versions, but some of those versions were a blue ball, or a red ball, or a red ball with the ‘S’, or without the ‘S’. Right around version 30, I was getting a little tired of it, but you know, it was a big title at the time, there were a lot of people looking at this. I understand why there were so many versions of the logo, from start to finish, you want to get it right, it’s important.”
Jim Wornell didn’t just spend time working on logos for Nintendo games’ though. Wornell was also an associate producer for Nintendo of America, and it turns out he took on quite a huge amount of work to help get games out the door.
In particular, Wornell had to spend a ton of time on The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. While he’s listed as a manual designer in the game’s credits, Wornell said that he, “did just about everything in that game except write the screen text.” Seeing all of his work boiled down to ‘manual designer’ in the credits rubbed Wornell the wrong way, and understandably so.
As Wornell was working on debugging, advertising, marketing, and the legal side of things, the crunch towards the end of development was pretty intense. Wornell opened up on some of that, and you can see his comments below.
Zelda was, while I love Ocarina Of Time, it’s a great game, it was almost the death of me because so much of my time was spent working on that game, you know two weeks without a day off, working from eight in the morning until ten at night you know. It was crazy.
Especially when you get to the end of a game you know, it’s getting close to lot check approval so it can be released to the market. You’re putting in some serious time to get it done.